From Wednesday morning, iPhone users will be able to top up their Snapper card through an app. (File photo)
The people behind Wellington’s transport card, Snapper, say their number one request from locals is having an Apple iOS app where they can top up their balance and see their transactions.
But from 10am on Wednesday, Wellingtonians with an Iphone 7 or later can rejoice – Snapper will be launching its iOS app.
This means people can place their phone above their Snapper card to check their balance, top up, view any passes, save their payment details and collect any travel refunds.
While the Android app has been working for the past 10 years, it was only at the end of last year that Apple allowed software developers to use the same capabilities.
Near Field Communication this allows nearby devices to share information wirelessly, including toys and video games.
Developers began working on the app during the coronavirus lockdown and Miki Szikszai, Snapper’s chief executive officer, said an iOS app was the number one request it received from Wellingtonians.
For the past month, volunteers have been testing the app – which is only available on iPhone 7/iOS 13 and above.
Szikszai said Snapper had been a pioneer in this area. It was the first time on public transport that any ticketing system like this was done in New Zealand, he said.
“We also have opportunities to offer to other cities around the world,” Szikszai said.
Snapper was also rolling the app out to a group in Ireland.
“Customers have experienced frustration with reloading [cards], so we’re really excited to offer this,” he said.
In September Greater Wellington Regional Councillors approved a plan to roll out Snapper cards to rail within the next six months
Metlink general manager Scott Gallacher said his team was aiming to start testing the Snapper card on rail services within the first quarter of 2021.
Since its launch in 2008, Snapper cards have been used for the overwhelming majority of bus trips in the capital.
In July, 83 per cent of all public transport boardings in the region used Snapper, with just 5 per cent paying cash. The remainder were mostly free fares for SuperGold cardholders and children under five.